Brooklyn Bridge Pool

the baloney bug

Making my way down to Brooklyn to get to the pop up pool had been on my bucket list all summer.  I had hoped that my last day of work would be in June, but had agreed to work until we had hired someone to replace me.  And that’s how I found myself still working into August.

So when I woke up early on one of my first days as an official stay at home mom, with summer’s end rapidly approaching, I knew it was now or never.

I was intrigued by this pool specifically because it’s owned by the city so it’s totally free and because of the views of lower Manhattan.  Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the pool and sand with views of some of New York’s most popular landmarks as your backdrop?

The downside is that, from my apartment, it’s a solid hour on the subway.  With a toddler.

Adelaide kept herself entertained for the majority of our time on the subway with the locker lock I’d brought.  Whatever makes you happy, kid.

The pool was ice cold so Adelaide flipped out when I tried to take her for a dip.  So instead we played in the sand under the umbrella while sipping some fresh squeezed lemonade.

It was fun, I’d do it again.  We even managed to make it back to our apartment by nap time, which is a definite win in mom world.

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I love getting to do all of these things with Adelaide.  As many great days as we’ve had, we’ve had hard days.  Days where naps don’t come easy (or at all), days where bedtime leaves us both in tears, days where I’m not sure I’m cut out for this.  So I hold these good days close as a reminder of all the things I’m thankful of.

For this sweet girl.

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Biking in Central Park

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A few weeks ago I randomly got it into my head that I wanted to take Adelaide on a bike ride.  I can’t remember the last time I rode a bike, and I’ve certainly never done it in New York City or with a baby on the back.  I asked my friend Tomi if she’d want to go with me, and she immediately agreed.

I think I was secretly hoping she’d say no so I could be all, “Well, I tried” and call it a day.

So we found ourselves on the Upper West Side renting bikes and helmets and baby seats.  We peddled a few blocks to Central Park where we joined other bikers and runners on a trail.  I’ve never really thought of New York as a hilly place, but ohmygosh, this specific part of the park had so.many.hills.

Let’s recap: I haven’t ridden a bike in forever.  I’ve never ridden a bike with a kid on the back.  And, THE HILLS.  Plus it was just about the hottest time of day on a very hot August afternoon.

Basically, I was dying.

We stopped for a while at a pretty cool playground we came across, and then decided we should probably head back and return the bikes because nap time was rapidly approaching.

Yes, nap time.  That’s why we stopped.

Before we left the park I made Tomi take ten million photos with me because I’m pretty sure I’m done with bike riding for a very long time and I wanted lots of proof that I did it.

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Abigail and Adelaide have become such good buddies.  I love seeing her relationships form.

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From the playground when we stopped to let the girls stretch their legs (and not at all because this mama needed a break!) 

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When we were literally two blocks away from returning the bikes I had to pull over because Adelaide was trying to take off her helmet.  We got readjusted and were back on our way.  Two blocks later I hop off my bike to realize that Adelaide is asleep.  Asleep!  Here I am about to pass out from exhaustion and this kid is taking a nap with the wind in her hair.  She was clearly not impressed by our adventures.

A few days later we were at Target and she spotted the helmets, put one on her head and refused to take it off.

This kid.

She’s all about the accessories.

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Ashley’s Bridal Shower

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I had the pleasure of throwing my friend Ashely’s bridal shower a few weeks ago, and it was so much fun!  I made a spread of what is quickly becoming my usual go-to items: cake pops, fruit cups, chicken salad on croissants and some other sweet treats.

I love that a bridal shower gives you the setting to meet some of the people closest to the bride before the big day, so that when her day does come, you know quite a few faces.  I had a great time getting to know these ladies and can’t wait to see them all again when we’re dressed in our formal wear!

 

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(family secret: croissants and pre-made chicken salad are both from Costco and neither disappoint!)

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The beautiful invitations were provided by Wedding Paperie and were seriously gorgeous.  I got so many compliments on them!  You could leave them as they were designed, or customize any detail.  I loved that you could also print on the backside for no additional charge.  If you’re planning an event in the near future I would definitely recommend them!  You can see all of the bridal shower invitations here.

 

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I know that most people toss favors when they get home, so I almost didn’t do one.  And then as I was putting my hair in a ponytail it just came to me, “Ashely and Edward tie the knot!”

Hair ties!

I already had a ton of elastic ribbon from making headbands for Adelaide, so I picked up some kraft tags from Michaels and printed up this sign that reads “Ashely and Edward tie the knot.  Please take one!” and displayed them by the door.  Every single one of them was gone, so I’d say it was a well received favor!  For those who are interested, you can buy the elastic here.

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http://www.sunshineshoppesupply.com/

Congratulations, Ashley!  I’m so excited for you and Edward and can’t wait to celebrate with you on your big day!

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Coney Island

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We spent a Saturday afternoon at the Aquarium and then Coney Island, which basically means chasing Adelaide all around Brooklyn.  The zoo pass Jon got me for Mother’s Day also includes the Aquarium, so on a day we had nothing to do we found ourselves driving down to explore.  We didn’t last there long since most of the exhibits are still closed post-Sandy, so we wandered over to the boardwalks.

There was a playground in the middle of the beach that Adelaide played on, and then would ask us to clean her hands.  And then play some more, and run over so we could wipe her hands.  That girl.  Doesn’t like to get dirty.

I’ve had pep talks with her telling her that little girls get dirty, but so far she’s not interested.

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the baloney bug We’re en route to California today, where we’ll spend the next two weeks in San Francisco, Monterrey, Santa Barbara and LA.  While we were in San Francisco and LA for quite a while last year, it was with a baby, so I feel like the game has totally changed.  So long are the days of Adelaide taking long naps in the stroller while I lazily walk around between shops and restaurants.  Any suggestions for fun things to do with a toddler are welcome!

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Changes

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Today marks a significant day in my life, both personal and professional.  After nearly four years of working for a company I love, along side some of the best people I’ve met, I will hand in my badge.

Jon and I have decided that what’s best for our family, right now, is for me to stay at home with Adelaide.

While I was pregnant and during my maternity leave, we struggled with deciding if I should go back to work.  We ultimately decided that I would give it a shot and see how it went.  It’s been almost a year since I returned, and it’s going fine.  I like working.  I like talking to adults and eating lunch with both hands.

But as Adelaide gets older, I realize just how much of her day to day I’m missing.  Not to mention, by the time I get home from work she’s tired and fussy, I’m tired and fussy.  I was getting the worst parts of her day without getting any of the good parts.

I always felt like I was running out the door at home to get to work, and running out the door at work to get back home.  I never felt fully in one place or the other.

So Jon and I talked about it.  And talked some more.  We discussed how it would affect our finances and lifestyle.  And ultimately we decided that the benefits of me staying home with Adelaide outweighed the benefits of me working.

I’m nervous.  I’m really nervous, actually.

Nervous about being lonely until I get in a groove and meet mom friends, about finding things for us to do all day, every day. About the cold days and the rainy days.

But I’m also excited.  So excited.

So here’s to the good and the unexpected and to making changes that scare us.  Happy Friday, friends.

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Adelaide’s Donut Party

the baloney bug I never thought I’d feel so emotional about my baby turning one.  I always hear moms talking about their kid turning one and think, “Okay, it’s not really that big of a deal.

But it is.  In so many ways.

I mean, first off, I survived a year of parenting.  I think that alone is worth a party.

There were days over the last year that just dragged on, but then somehow they turned into weeks and before I knew it, I had a one year old.  One who is walking and doing tricks and constantly making me laugh.

I keep thinking back to a year ago when my water broke, when we walked the halls of the hospital, when I trusted my body and when I became a mother.  I think about that call I made to my mom to tell her I was in labor and how I started crying thinking about how my life was about to change, while she told me I could do this.

My life has stayed the same in some ways, and simultaneously changed in every way.

I sometimes forget that I’m a mom.  When I go to work or when I am out without Adelaide.  I’m just another normal person on the street, except I’m not.  I’m a mother to a precious girl.  A one year old.

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I decided a while back that the party theme would be donuts.  And yes, donuts can be a party theme.  Why not?  We served donuts from Doughnut Plant which were a huge hit.  Since our party was at noon, I wanted to serve brunch type foods.  We had also rented out a space, so I couldn’t serve any hot foods.  I finally decided on donuts (of course), bagels, donut shaped cake pops, chicken salad on croissants and fresh fruit cups.  And booze. 14-03-08_1st_Birthday_05 the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug

The majority of our party was adults, so we set up a bloody mary bar (so much fun picking ingredients for this- even made some bacon which was a hit), mimosas (with orange and grapefruit juice), water and coffee.  I had a dream a few days before the party that we forgot celery for the bloody mary bar.  The horror!

We also asked that our friends not bring gifts.  We live in a tiny apartment and just don’t have the space for extra things.  Plus we wanted to just have our friends all gather and come have a good time without have to worry about picking out a gift for a one year old.  Our friends are so generous though, and literally every person asked if they could bring something or help out in some way.  In hindsight I might have asked them to bring food or toiletries for the shelter my church supports so that they didn’t feel awkward showing up empty handed.

The room was filled with our friends and family who love us and love Adelaide.  To look every direction and see the people that have helped you raise your daughter is a feeling like no other.  I know how lucky I am to have had the support I’ve had over the last year and I’m eternally grateful for every single one of those people.  It really does take a village. the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug I was hesitant to have a smash cake at the party for a few reasons.  We’d have to get a high chair to the party location, Adelaide would of course get messy, but how messy?  I decided to suck it up and go for it.  The cake was made at a local bakery (I just asked for a plain white 4″ cake) and I put donut shaped cake pops on top.

I brought a change of clothes for her and a ton of wipes. 

Turns out we didn’t really need them because girlfriend doesn’t want any cake.

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She was not at all interested in the cake.  She picked off the donuts one by one and tossed them to the ground.  She wouldn’t even touch the cake, so finally Jon put his finger in the icing and gave her a taste.  She was still skeptical.  Finally, we got her a fork and she took a few bites off of a fork and then tried to stand up and get out of her chair.  Basically, it was the cleanest smash cake you’ve ever seen.  She didn’t wear a bib and didn’t get a speck of icing on her clothes.  She kills me. the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug I still can’t believe I have a one year old.  I’m so lucky to be her mama.

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Thoughts on Having an Almost One Year Old

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^^Getting some walking practice in before bath

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^^The subway doors opened, this guy got on  one knee and proposed.  Then the subway doors closed and they were off.  It was awesome.

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^^Brady steals Jon’s seat on the couch

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^^Loves snow.  At least someone is enjoying this winter.

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follow along @joan_gilbert

This weekend my little baby turns one.  It’s hitting me much harder than I expected.  My heart almost feels heavy thinking that she’s not a little baby anymore.  I’ll save the rest of my mushy thoughts about this for her actual birthday post.

We’re full swing into party mode in our apartment.  I’m so excited to have all of the people who have supported us and loved on her over the last year in one place at one time to celebrate.

Bring on the party!

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A {Very Belated} Christmas Post

m4s0n501

the baloney bug Oh, was Christmas over a month ago?  That’s funny.  Well, these pictures are still adorable, and better late than never.  Right?  Right??

the baloney bug the baloney bug Be still my heart.  That face. 

the baloney bug Her favorite activity: giving the dog her food.

the baloney bug the baloney bug Ha!  That face! 

the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug Giving Nanny the hand print ornament we made.

the baloney bug Not so excited for her thank you kiss.

the baloney bug the baloney bug Like a pro on that laptop.

the baloney bug One of her favorite hobbies: riding on Daddy’s shoulders.

the baloney bug She *always* loses one sock.

the baloney bug Merry belated Christmas.  The holidays had so much more meaning and sparkle with a little one this year.

And Christmas pjs.  Those make everything more fun.

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Mommy Brain

the baloney bug It’s funny how when you become pregnant and keep forgetting things they say you have “pregnancy brain” and then after you have the baby and you forget literally everything they say you have “mommy brain”.  When I was pregnant I went to walk Brady and found myself standing on the street in my slippers.  Um, maybe shoes would have been a better idea?  And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten or lost my phone since March.  I would have never forgotten my phone pre-baby, and now it’s a complete after thought.

A few days ago I read this article in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.  Apparently a mother’s brain actually grows during pregnancy and postpartum.  So pregnant brain and mom brain is a real thing.  The parts of the brain that grow include the parts that deal with emotions, reward, maternal motivation, reasoning and judgement.

So when they say you’ve never experienced the kind of love a parent has for their child, you literally have never experienced it until you’ve had a child.  How incredibly awesome is that?

This little baby of mine is everything.  She’s adorable and demanding and loud and I would give her the world.

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Pennings Orchard

the baloney bug you see that smile right?  she’s killing it.

Saturday we went apple picking with a group of our friends at Pennings Orchard.  The weather ended up being crazy warm and didn’t feel like fall at all.  Which is fine by me, because I wish it were summer year round.

Last year when we went apple picking I was 17 weeks pregnant.  It was so fun to bring the baby this year.  Up until now she’s been completely uninterested in food, so it was exciting to see her clutching her apples in her tiny little hands and giving them licks and taking the occasional bite.  Melt my heart, whydontcha?

the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug Last year Jon juggled apples, so in keeping with tradition everyone gave it a go. the baloney bug Kristin gave it a shot… the baloney bug And it didn’t go so well.  I love this shot of her covering her head! the baloney bug Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great weekend as well!

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